SALT LAKE CITY and BOISE, Idaho, June 22, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company, is seeking new sources of a plant commonly known as corn lily, or Veratrum californicum, to help aid in the development of a potential new treatment for certain types of cancer. Also known locally as "cow cabbage" or "skunk cabbage," this plant has been found growing on hills and alpine meadows across the western United States – primarily in Utah, Idaho and Oregon – and typically favors areas that are wet in the spring and 5,000 to 10,000 feet in altitude. Corn lily, which is often considered a "nuisance" weed, contains a key starting material for one of Infinity's investigational therapies, IPI-926, which targets difficult-to-treat cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and chondrosarcoma.
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"It's remarkable to consider that this weed could ultimately be key to treating certain types of cancer for which there currently are no effective treatments," said Joe McPherson, Infinity's vice president of facilities and operations. "Our relationship with the U.S. Forest Service and several private landowners has enabled us to yield substantial sources of corn lily to date. As we move forward with further study and clinical development of IPI-926, we hope to work with additional landowners in these regions to harvest the plant, which could help patients for years to come."
Infinity has worked with the U.S. Forest Service since 2007 and has also established relationships with several private landowners in multiple states. The company has also invested more than one million dollars in the state of Utah through the provision of jobs and restoration of the land on which corn lily has been harvested.
"As cancer impacts all of us either directly or indirectly, it has been gratifying to work with Infinity on this project. In addition, we have appreciated the company's commitment to the community and the surrounding environment, including its efforts to restore the land after harvest," stated Pam Brown, Manti-La Sal National Forest.
IPI-926 belongs to a class of drugs known as Hedgehog pathway inhibitors. Research suggests that the Hedgehog pathway may play a key role in how and why certain types of cancer develop and grow. In healthy adults, the Hedgehog pathway is inactive in most cells. In people with certain cancers, the Hedgehog pathway is turned back on and helps promote cancer growth and survival. IPI-926 is designed to block the function of a key protein in the Hedgehog pathway and is being tested in clinical trials to treat multiple difficult-to-treat cancers.
Data from two clinical trials of IPI-926 were recently presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, Ill. In these clinical trials, IPI-926 was well-tolerated and showed clinical activity in patients with basal cell carcinoma and metastatic pancreatic cancer. Infinity is currently enrolling patients in two Phase 2 clinical trials of IPI-926, one in pancreatic cancer and one in chondrosarcoma.
Infinity encourages people who have significant sources of corn lily on their land to contact the company by calling 617-453-1015 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Infinity (Nasdaq:INFI) is an innovative drug discovery and development company seeking to discover, develop and deliver to patients best-in-class medicines for difficult-to-treat diseases. Infinity combines proven scientific expertise with a passion for developing novel small molecule drugs that target emerging disease pathways. Infinity's programs in the inhibition of the Hedgehog pathway, the Hsp90 chaperone system, fatty acid amide hydrolase, and phosphoinositide-3-kinase are evidence of its innovative approach to drug discovery and development. For more information on Infinity, please refer to the company's website at .
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include those regarding the potential of IPI-926 to treat a broad range of cancers. Such statements are subject to numerous factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from the company's current expectations. These risks and uncertainties are described in greater detail under the caption "Risk Factors" included in Infinity's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 10, 2011. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Infinity expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Jaren Irene Madden, 617-453-1336 Jaren.Madden@infi.com http://www.infi.com Media: Liz Falcone, 617-761-6727 Liz.Falcone@fkhealth.com